2014/2015 Swalec Cup
Pontypridd 15 v 19 Bridgend
03 May 2015 - Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Bridgend Ravens

Match Report


Bridgend Ravens ended 35 years of pain by disposing of former holders Pontypridd in the Welsh Cup final to win the SSE Swalec Cup. 

It was Bridgend's first cup triumph since 1980, and the class of 2015 repeated the efforts of those who donned the blue and white in 1979 by beating Pontypridd to claim the most coveted trophy in Welsh domestic rugby.

The phenomenal Ravens' effort led to a heroic victory over Pontypridd at the Millennium Stadium as Bridgend lifted the Cup for the first time since 1980.

A faultless kicking display from Owen Howe and an opportunistic try from Tom O'Flaherty set the Ravens up, as the defence held out Ponty's late attacking waves to claim a historic win.

Simon Humberstone notched the first points of the match with a 12th minute penalty. Owen Howe struck back with his first penalty of the match to level the scores shortly after.

A cagey first half saw handling errors halt any momentum that either side appeared to be building.

The Ravens took the lead for the first time in the match with Howe's second strike. The fullback was on target, as he was all afternoon, following a scrum penalty awarded to the Ravens.

Humberstone missed a shot at goal but Ponty were to finish the half on the front foot as they initially missed a great opportunity to score out wide but were to eventually get the games first try.

A big Ponty scrum deep in the Ravens 22 forced Bridgend to fumble the ball into touch and as Ponty marched the maul from the lineout the Ravens halted it illegally. Ponty kicked to the corner.

The Ponty forwards edged towards the try line but the maul was eventually halted by Bridgend. Pontypridd spread the ball wide and Aled Summerhill was able to slice through the Ravens defence to score. Humberstone added the conversion as the first half came to an end.

HT Bridgend Ravens 6-10 Pontypridd

Bridgend closed the gap, to just a point, minutes into the second half as Owen Howe continued to impress from the tee.

The Ravens thought they had got their first try five minutes into the second half. A handling error from Pontypridd handed Tom O’Flaherty the chance to counterattack. A neat offload to man of the match Andrew Waite saw the Number 8 dot down but the TV replay showed a knock on in the build up as the score was chalked off.

Pontypridd had the better of the possession and territory throughout the second half, but the Ravens battled hard in defence holding out for 30 second half minutes.

Bridgend edged ahead with 62 minutes on the clock thanks to another fine effort from the tee by Howe and the best was yet to come for the Ravens. A fumble following a James Dixon up and under allowed O’Flaherty a chance and the winger pounced. A hack through followed by a sprint to the line saw the flyer dive on the ball for the score. Howe added the extras to hand the Ravens a healthy lead heading into the final 15 minutes.

Pontypridd spurned multiple chances to kick for goal during the second half and now found themselves needing two scores to retake the lead. Jake Thomas got the score Ponty were hunting for but the conversion was missed meaning another try was needed if Pontypridd were to snatch victory. The Ravens kept up their incredible defensive intensity to the final whistle and held out despite some nervy moments from the underdogs. A lengthy scrum as the clock ticked down was won by Bridgend and the ball was smashed into the stand to send the Ravens players and fans into a frenzy as Bridgend sealed the historic win.  

The Ravens celebrated wildly in front of the significant Bridgend contingent which made their way to the Millennium Stadium #backingbridgend, and it was down to skipper Ashleigh James to lift the cup and spark wild celebrations for those in blue and white. 

Attendance: 8500

Pontypridd Bridgend